The Pre-Rabbit Era had rabbits in it, but they weren't my own. There were rabbits perhaps nudging me to start a rabbit era in my life, but that didn't happen right away. Of course, as a little girl, I liked bunnies- stuffed ones, photos, etc. They were cute. I didn't like them in the way I do now. Rabbits lived in hutches and were outdoor animals. Never had them. I think I pested my parents for rabbits from time to time, but it never happened.
Then a roommate I had took over ownership of someone else's rabbit that had a cold. I didn't mind the rabbit. It hopped around and hid away most of the time. It did leave a trail of poops all over which I didn't care for, but they were dry. I hated when she didn't clean the litter box, when we had to hide the bunny from the landlord and all her relatives kept calling it "the rodent". Still, it was Pre-Rabbit Era. I wasn't interested.
Then there was the Schwarz Krolick at the Eden Alternative nursing home I worked at. I don't remember it's real name, but it was the Schwarz Krolick- an fellow employee (who was from Poland) and I (whose ancestry is part German) named the rabbit. It means black rabbit in part German and part Polish. We complained about the rabbit because we could never reach into the cage to give it care. It would bite and attack. I was pretty ignorant. Then one day we found it in it's cage with a fecal impaction. I brought it to the vet. I volunteered to do, but was terrified. I never actually had been to the vet before. The vet took the rabbit out and handled it with care and explained it needed exercise, lots of hay and water available all the time. I was terrified at having to remove that rabbit from the cage. It was my first insight though in to seeing rabbits as living, feeling creatures and the insight was helpful. I don't like admitting I was that ignorant, but I'm so glad I had that experience. Still Pre-Rabbit Era.
There were rabbits at other nursing homes that slowly brought me around to seeing what wonderful pets they were for nursing homes-with the right education about them. They still weren't my rabbits, but I found out they weren't like Schwarz Krolick, who really just needed to be neutered.
The Rabbit Era started with a super huge white bunny named Snowflake, who was donated to our nursing home as a pet. He immediately attracted the attention of the residents like at other places. I did his care in his cage, etc. I let him out for periods of time each day, then he started biting me and only me. Turned out, after much, much research, that he decided he liked me and chose me as his mate. He needed to go for the big snip. The other side of him was how he followed me all over the place in the huge nursing home. He would sit on my lap as I sent out fax after fax for public relations announcements, etc. I fell in love with him also. Sad thing was that my mother started dying of an aggressive cancer and I took a lot of time from working to spend with her. There were people at the nursing home who thought all the rabbit did was stay in his cage all day. There was also the previous owner, an employee at the nursing home, who didn't like the fact that I brought him in from the outdoor hutch he came in (I immediately brought him in from there when I found cake with frosting, half loaves of Italian bread and the like thrown in his cage for him to eat) and thought I was was being cruel bringing him inside. No matter what I said or what book I showed them, they said I was cruel. The day I arrived to the nursing home when my mother came to spend her last days where I worked for hospice care, the rabbit was gone. Someone stole him overnight. It hit me, but I was also numb and helpless because of my mother's condition. I was so angry at everything.
The thing that brought the Rabbit Era to full essence, was Grumble Bunny. Someone brought in another rabbit, a baby, as a donation. This was while we still had Snowflake. Grumble Bunny came home with me and continued the growth of the seed that Snowflake instilled in me. I think all the Pre-Rabbit bunnies slowly trained me. I have been hooked ever since. I have actually prayed for forgiveness from the bunnies I was ignorant to. They have totally changed my life and the way I looked at it.
I will break down the Eras more for you on another day.
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